The Indians have signed three free agents, including two fifth-year collegians and their 48th-round draft pick from last June. Outfielder Justin Jenkins of West Virginia, catcher Osiel Flores of Texas Pan America and right-hander Travis Turek of Los Angeles Pierce College came to terms. They soon will be assigned to minor-league teams, likely Mahoning Valley or the Gulf Coast League Indians.
Fifth-year players are permitted to sign free agent deals before the major league draft in June.
"This is a great chance for me to prove myself," Jenkins said. "I’ve enjoyed my years at West Virginia, but I am thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started."
Jenkins had a huge season at West Virginia, batting .372 with 21 doubles, 11 homers and 48 RBI, putting together the 10th-longest hitting streak in NCAA history at 38 games.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound native of Ridgeley, W.Va., was named to the 2007 all-Big East Conference first team outfield.
Jenkins set eight school records and compiled a .369 career batting average. He is the Mountaineers' all-time leader in batting average (.369), total bases (429), multi-hit games (78), season base hits (94 in 2006) and career base hits (253).
In 2005, he hit .359 with 12 homers and 43 RBI, following up with a .375 average, 10 homers and 49 RBI last season.
Jenkins played football, basketball and baseball in high school, then attended Potomac State, where he earned second team junior college All-America honors in 2003.
Flores, who will turn age 23 on June 1, hit .320 (66-for-206) with 27 runs, 27 RBI and eight steals in nine attempts over 56 games this spring.
As a junior in 2006, he hit .300 (57-for-190) with four homers and 35 RBI in 50 games.
The six-foot, 190-pounder played his first two seasons of college ball at the University of Texas-Brownsville before transferring.
Turek, 19, was drafted twice by the Indians. They made him their 44th-round selection (No. 1,319 overall) in 2005 out of California's Westlake Village High School. Last year, after one season at Santa Barbara Community College, the Tribe took the six-foot-one, 170-pounder in the 48th round, with the 1,441st pick overall.